Yr Wyddfa: Press for Snowdon to be known only as Welsh | Wales
Most of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who walk to the top of Wales’ highest mountain each year know it as Snowdon.
But a task force must consider whether this English nickname should be dropped and whether only his Welsh name – Yr Wyddfa – should be used.
A motion has been brought by County Councilor John Pughe Roberts calling on the Snowdonia National Park Authority to refer only to the mountain by its Welsh name and drop “Snowdonia” in favor of Welsh Eryri.
Roberts told the Guardian on Thursday he believes it is important that old Welsh place names are not lost and that park authorities need to lead by example. “If you lose the old names, you lose the legacy, you lose everything behind that name. If you lose the name, you lose an important part of the history of the region. “
According to the park authorities, the Welsh name Yr Wyddfa means grave and the myth is that the giant Rhita Gawr was buried on the mountain following a battle with King Arthur. It says Snowdon comes from the saxon snow dune, which means snow hill.
It has long been thought that Eryri referred to the Welsh name of the eagle – eryr – but it is now believed to come from Latin oriri, which means stand up.
Welsh language champions are increasingly concerned about the loss of traditional place names. Both Cardiff Council and Denbighshire Council have decided that all new streets should have exclusively Welsh names.
Roberts said: “The language and the world have changed a lot.” He pointed out that Australians now refer to what was known as Ayers Rock as Uluru.
Mount Everest is still not known by its Tibetan name, Chomolungma, which means mother goddess of the world. Its English name comes from Colonel Sir George Everest, a surveyor general of India who was born in another hilly region of Wales, Crickhowell in Powys.
Roberts said if authority leads the way in dropping the Snowdon name, it will eventually fade away. His motion was considered at a meeting on Wednesday, but the authority said it would be considered by its working group, set up to adapt guidelines on the use of Welsh place names.
Authority Chairman Wyn Ellis Jones said: “Authority members have decided that there is no need to view the motion today as a task of Welsh place names and the group of finish has already been named.
“The authority is committed to protecting and promoting the use of indigenous place names for everyday use and for future generations.”
Ffred Ffransis, a prominent member of the Cymdeithas an Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) lobby group said: “I wonder if people in England can imagine renaming the Arc de Triomphe ‘Happy Days Arch’, or the Acropolis. like ‘Temple Mount’?
“Enjoying the vibrant culture is part of the experience of visiting a country, and this is as true for Cymru as it is for any other country. Not only is Snowdon “Yr Wyddfa”, but our country is “Cymru” (the land of comrades) and not “Wales” (the land of strangers). “